A Bible study on idolatry, concentrating on the subject of the second commandment: the way we worship.
A fundamental difference exists between images and language, and by understanding the difference, we can understand the second commandment's importance.
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to venerate the symbol of the cross. The early church certainly did not. It was introduced into Catholic churches in AD 431.
Will wearing a silver cross around the neck keep a person from harm? Will it stay the hand of Satan? Superstitions about the cross arose long before Christ.
Jesus commands His followers to take our cross and follow Him. Does He mean to carry a pagan symbol, or is there a deeper meaning to His weighty words?
Most people consider the second commandment to deal with making or falling down before a pagan idol, but it covers all aspects of the way we worship.
Many fail to perceive the difference between the first and second commandments. The second commandment defines the way we are to worship the true God.
Idolatry derives from worshiping the work of our hands or thoughts rather than the true God. Whatever consumes our thoughts and behavior has become our idol.
Bearing our cross means our time on this earth is virtually finished, that we are willing to give up our lives, emulating the life of our Savior.
Is it alright to wear a crucifix? As it turns out, the cross was a pagan worship symbol long before Christ's death, and was never used by the first century church.
An idol is anything in our lives that occupies the space which should be occupied by God alone, anything having a controlling force in our lives.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the encounter of Jesus with the woman of Samaria, perhaps an exemplification of the entire unconverted world, but also symbolic of a church, initially hardened, self-willed and skeptical when called out of the world, but afterwards zealous and energized when enlightened by the truth. As Jesus …